NRC: Quote Un-Quote Round One

What did some of the key personalities involved in the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship have to say after Round One of the competition...

Jason Gilmore, Queensland Country Head Coach after his side lost to Melbourne Rising on Sunday

"It was a really good game of Rugby from both sides, in terms of the Country side we were really happy with the players in terms of their effort for the first game.

“It was always going to be an unknown performance coming into the game with no prior indication of form but the effort from the side was there. In saying that, we don’t want to accept that we dropped a close game, we need to be securing wins. 

“I thought our attack was really good, we had good structure with the ball in hand and our set piece was great. Our forwards were excellent in the scrum and in the line-out. Those will be the big positives we take leading into the game against the Sydney Stars. 

“We had 14-players in total today making their NRC debuts, young guys like Conor Mitchell and Phil Potgieter really led the way in the forward pack and Izaia Perese in the backs, as an 18-year-old, was great for us. 

“While we didn’t get the win it was great to play in front of the Gold Coast Rugby community at Bond in what was the first of four of our home-games in regional areas of Queensland. We’re really thankful for the support that Bond and Gold Coast Rugby continue to provide for the Country program.” 

Dave Dennis, after his Sydney Stars side saw off the North Harbour Rays at Manly Oval

"I didn't play much last year but I think we only won one game last year so it's great to get off to a winning start. We now look forward to next Thursday night against Queensland Country at Leichhardt.

"The Rays started well, perhaps we were a bit loose though we have only had two or three sessions together so it was understandable. We made a few tactical errors and mistakes but once we found our rhythm it opened up a bit and we managed to score some nice tries.

"It was my first game at No 6 all year so I did a bit of seagulling out wide. Obviously the ball is in play a lot longer so you have to work a tad harder but it's not quite as physical as Super Rugby so it's a bit of both really.

"I was disapppointed to be left out of the World Cup squad but if there is a few injuries I want to be right to go. Rather than training in a gym or working out I want to be playing some footy."

Brisbane City Head Coach Nick Stiles after his team defeated Perth Spirit 

“I’m happy with the effort from the boys. It’s hard to know what to expect from the first game, so I’m very happy to come away with the win. Perth sent a strong side over here and we knew their back row would try to control the game – but I thought we weathered that well.

“It was really good composure from our guys to hold Perth off during the middle of the game when they looked like they were going to get the better of us. We’ll learn from this and get better.

“We welcomed another 14 debutants to the Brisbane City jersey tonight and everyone will be better for the run. There’s a good mix of Super Rugby and club players in this side and they’re already showing they’ve got a great bond as teammates.”

Perth Spirit skipper Heath Tessmann after Perth lost to Brisbane City in a re-match of last year's Grand Final

“We were caught a little bit off-guard in that first half and were holding back a bit,” he said. “In the second half we let the shackles off a bit and looked to play a bit more and really open it up.

“We were very happy with [our set piece and rolling maul]. We knew that any team coached by Stilesy [Nick Stiles] would target us at the set piece, and I was really happy with how our young guys stepped up. Jermaine [Ainsley], our tighthead, has to play in the [Pindan Premier Grade] grand final on Sunday, so it’ll be a tough week for him.

“We were good in those areas though and it gives us something to build on.”

Results Summary:

Brisbane City v Perth Spirit at Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane 

Brisbane City 29 (K Hunt, J Laloifi, S Kerevi, J McIntyre tries; J McIntyre 2, H Taefu cons); defeated Perth Spirit 16 (K Koteka, A Cottrell tries; I Prior 2 cons)

North Harbour Rays v Sydney Stars at Manly Oval, Manly

Sydney Stars 45 (D Hickey, J Gordon, H Jones, T Robertson, J Hanson, T Coolican tries; A Roberts 5 cons) defeated North Harbour Rays (A Northam, M Adams, T Hill, J Holmes tries; H Angus 3 cons)

Greater Sydney Rams v NSW Country Eagles at Merrylands RSL Park, Sydney

NSW Country Eagles 32 (J Brooks, E Stubbs, A Kellaway, W Miller tries; J Lance 4 cons); defeated Greater Sydney Rams 31 (J Heyer, C Masson, P Asquith, J Gillespie, B Kapa tries; P Asquith, J Ayoub cons)

Queensland Country v Melbourne Rising at Bond University, Gold Coast

Melbourne Rising 39 (B Meehan 2, L Taliu, S Fuglistaller, P Leafa, D Shipperley tries; J Debreczeni 3 cons) defeated Queensland Country 31 (C Mitchell, S Fa'agase 2, J Taulagi, R Leilua tries; S Greene 2 cons)

*Melbourne Rising retain the Horan-Little Shield

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